NYC Apartment Renovation Tips: Costs Per Square Foot

It’s important to set expectations about the cost of your NYC apartment remodel. Here are some general per-square-foot prices to prepare you for your project.

What a High-End Remodel Costs Per Square Foot in NYC and How to Make the Most of It

Renovating your New York City apartment can provide value that goes beyond a dollar amount. It can mean adding more space for a growing family, living in your ideal location, or achieving the luxury aesthetic you’ve always dreamed of.

Of course, the money does matter, too. If you’re looking to sell, a renovation can net you a higher price. If you’re in the market to buy, choosing to renovate a fixer-upper can be more cost-effective than purchasing a move-in-ready home. Either way, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to the cost of your NYC apartment remodel.

Ultimately, the price tag depends on the scope of your project and how you plan and execute it. However, there are some general per-square-foot prices we can provide as a guideline to prepare you for your project. And with the help of an experienced, all-inclusive design-build firm, you can maximize every dollar you spend on your luxury renovation.

Understanding NYC Renovation Costs Per Square Foot

Typically, a full higher-end remodel can range in cost from $250 to $450 per square foot (inclusive of all labor and materials), though it can vary on account of a few factors. For example, dry spaces such as a bedroom or living room can cost an average of $30 to $50, while wet spaces like the kitchen and bathroom can range from $300 to $400 per square foot. If you change the layout, it could add another $300-plus per square foot.

In addition, permits and other paperwork apply to any NYC apartment remodel. For example, if your project includes plumbing work, the permits for that can cost as much as $5,000. Electrical permits cost about $900 on average, and an asbestos inspection, if necessary, would run you an additional $500 to $1,000. Adding central air to your scope can easily add $25,000 or more to your project, but it is not unheard of to reach closer to $80,000 depending on the size, scope, and the ancillary work involved.

Once you’ve tallied up these costs, however, it’s possible to make some adjustments to make the costs work for you. In our experience, the following strategies can help maximize the value of your NYC renovation costs per square foot:

  1. Shop for quality, not name brands.

The specific fixtures and finishes you choose will be one of the biggest factors in your project’s price tag. The most important tip we offer is to focus on choosing high-quality options rather than defaulting to name brands. For example, brands like Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Viking offer appliances with plenty of advanced features, but many of them aren’t practical for daily use. Other manufacturers such as Jenn-Air, Bosch, Miele, and Liebherr can offer equal or higher-quality appliances without unnecessary bells and whistles.

  1. Make layout changes a last resort.

Sometimes, a layout change is necessary to include in an NYC home renovation. But if you don’t need to add something like an extra bedroom, you can expand your space, optimize natural light, or achieve other space-changing effects through strategic use of the right finishes and design elements. Your best bet is to work with an experienced contractor who understands how to use design to change your home’s aesthetic without changing its layout. They’ll help you understand all the options available before you decide to knock down any walls.

  1. Work on a no-change-order model.

Another advantage of working with an experienced, trusted contractor is the assurance that you won’t have to deal with change orders halfway into your project, unless you request them yourself. No matter how much you strategize your renovation, you can still end up wasting time and money if your contractor tells you it’s possible to add light in your kitchen without a layout change, then goes back on that promise after demolition starts. Our strict no-change-order model includes every element of your renovation from step one, ensuring you don’t encounter unexpected charges like this at any phase of your project.

  1. Hire skilled trades as needed, not upfront.

For large NYC apartment remodels, the traditional process includes hiring an architect as the first step. Though architects play an important role during certain phases of a project, not all architects are created equal. By waiting to hire one, you can take time to research the one that’s right for you. At Gallery Kitchen & Bath, we work closely with architects and other skilled tradespeople as needed. We know the quality of their work and areas of expertise, and we know when that expertise is necessary for a given project.

Adding Value With a Design-Build Firm

By working with a firm like Gallery, you can consolidate every aspect of your NYC home renovation under one roof. We act as more than just a contractor: We’re a team that includes all trades, vendors, and service providers you’ll need to complete any project, and we manage all the pieces for you.

Through our vendor relationships, we can give you access to a wider variety of high-quality products, appliances, and finishes than you’ll find on any showroom floor. Also, because we quarterback the entire process and all the moving parts involved, we can help you cut out errors and overruns that impact your project’s timeline and costs per square foot.

With so many options to choose from and the freedom of not having to micromanage your NYC apartment remodel, teaming up with a turnkey design-build firm is the most effective way to maximize your investment in your dream home.

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